Office of the Judiciary Out-of-Court Mediation Rules
in force as from __ _____ 2003


Whereas, the Office of Judiciary (OCJ) has authorized the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (ADRO) to promote and develop out-of-court mediation (“Mediation”) for pre-litigation disputes or for during the litigation or arbitration of disputes; it is, therefore, necessary to issue Out-of-Court Mediation Rules (these Rules) as follows:

What out-of court mediation is:

Under these rules, Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party (the "Mediator"), at the request of the parties to a dispute, meets with those parties and actively assists them in reaching a resolution of the dispute. Mediation under these Rules can occur before or during the litigation or arbitration of a dispute. The resolution sought is one that is mutually acceptable to the parties. This type of resolution is often called a settlement. Mediation is also known as facilitated negotiations, a type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), or a type of Conciliation.

Mediation is voluntary in the sense that either party may, if it so chooses, withdraw from the Mediation at any stage prior to the signing of a settlement agreement by all parties. Mediation is generally confidential. It is highly flexible and informal. The Mediation process is non-binding, although a settlement agreement resulting from a completed Mediation process usually is binding. Typically, Mediation is concluded expeditiously at moderate cost.

Mediator’s role:

The role of the Mediator is to facilitate communication, promote understanding, and assist the parties to negotiate in good faith with each other. The Mediator also helps the parties to focus on what their interests are in the dispute, while assisting the parties to develop settlement options that can lead to informed decisions on resolution. The role of the Mediator­ and the goal of the Mediation process ­are to help parties achieve their own resolution.

Selecting the Mediator:

The Mediator who will mediate a given dispute is:

  • the person appointed, and mutually agreed upon, by the parties to a dispute; or

  • the person appointed by the ADRO, if the parties consent to Mediation but cannot agree upon their choice of Mediator.

  • The Mediator may be a person who is appointed by the parties or ADRO but whose name does not appear on any Roster of Mediators established and maintained by ADRO.

What out-of court mediation is not:

Mediation should not be considered to be the same as binding arbitration or to be a type of adjudication, for example where arbitrators or judges alone make decisions that are binding on the parties. These Rules do not apply to cases where a judge or an arbitrator, in the course of and as part of judicial or arbitral proceedings, attempts to facilitate a settlement of the case or proceedings.

Certain reasons to use mediation:

Amicable resolution, or at least mutually agreeable settlement, is often a desirable solution for business, personal, or other disputes. This can occur through Mediation before or during the litigation or arbitration of a dispute.

Administration and guidelines for these Rules:

The Office of the Judiciary sets out these Mediation rules, which are entitled the Office of the Judiciary Out-of-Court Mediation Rules (referred to as the "Rules"). The Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (“ADRO”) (part of the Office of the Judiciary) administers these Rules.

As guidelines for these Rules, the Office of the Judiciary Manual for Out-of-Court Mediation (the "Manual") provides an explanation of the Rules, further discussion on mediation as a settlement technique, printed forms parties can use, and other background information. The Manual does not form part of these Rules.